May is here and brings with it 3 holidays: May Day, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. May is traditionally a busy month as it is the end of the school year which means graduation ceremonies, too. This year, I want to address the 3 M holidays that occur in May.
May Day is a holiday which dates back to mating rituals and the celebration of fertility as a pagan holiday. We have used May Day to celebrate spring by dropping May baskets with candy or flowers at somebody’s door, ringing the doorbell and running, hoping for the friend to chase you. Kids love this holiday tradition, although it isn’t celebrated as much as it was in past generations. Most children who do celebrate it don’t realize that this was supposed to be done anonymously and as a gesture to show romantic interest in the person for whom the basket was given. It has also become a tradition to celebrate Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the Roman Catholic Church. This leads us into our second May holiday, Mother’s Day.
According to this website, http://www.whsv.com/seasonal/misc/42915822.html:
“Mother's Day in US: Here in the United States Mother's Day is a national holiday and is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. On this day people reflect on the importance of mothers in their life and thank them for their unconditional love and support. Mother's Day is celebrated in USA in a big way and has been commercialized to a great extent. It is considered as the next big day after Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Phone lines record a heavy traffic and card sales reaches its peak and restaurants are filled to their maximum capacity. Traditions for this day generally include things like breakfast in the bed, giving flowers, cards or gifts, and treating them to a meal.”
The 3rd M holiday in May is Memorial Day. Here is the background I found according to a history website, http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=2
“Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. . . .Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.”
As I consider these 3 M May Holidays, I see a flow or a theme. May Day marks the beginning of spring, fertility, life. Mother’s Day celebrates women who have brought new life into this world (or whom have adopted children) and have given much love and support to raising and caring for their offspring. We remember our mothers and thank them for the gift of life and all their sacrifices. Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have given their lives in service to our country and its citizens. These 3 holidays represent the cycle of life from the beginning to the end of life.
I also find it interesting that flowers play a primary role in all of these holidays as well as in the saying that “April showers bring May flowers.” Flowers represent life, love, beauty, nature and peace.
As you “spring” into May, consider these holidays and how they represent life. How do you celebrate these stages of life? Do you pay attention to all that comes to life in May? Is there a mother in your life that you would like to thank or show appreciation for all she has given to you? Are there people in your family or community that have given the ultimate sacrifice in service that you would like to acknowledge? You May want to spring for some flowers to show your love and appreciation this month.
Kolleen Meyer-Krikac, owner of Balanced Life and Wilshire Business Suites, located in Lincoln, NE is a certified life coach and professional counselor in private practice. She facilitates workshops, is a public speaker and enjoys helping people to “Dream, Plan, Achieve” the life they have always wanted. You can reach Kolleen through her website, Balanced Life (www.balanced-life.us), Linked In, Facebook or by calling her at (402) 499-5547. She is offering a Spring Cleaning Small Coaching Group in May. Check the website or call for more information.